Friday, October 15, 2010

ER In Your Shoes

Last week, I did another In Your Shoes. This time I worked in the Emergency Department (ED) with Kimberlee, my boss for the shift (that's us in the picture). She made sure I was oriented to the unit. Laurie, our unit educator put an exceptional orientation packet together for me. She showed me the ropes in the supply area so I could quickly find what was needed. I had a chance to transport and move patients. I had the opportunity to watch great care and a team effort by the entire ED team. As luck would have it, I was told, it was "not a typical day in the ED and it is usually much busier." I joked that it is never a typical day when I do In Your Shoes but they could count on a lot more action once I left the ED - that always seems to be the case. The Emergency Department accounts for approximately 50% of the patients who are admitted into our hospital so it is extremely important that we are able to get patients in and out in a timely manner so they could be discharged home or admitted to the most appropriate level of care. This is this the right thing from a clinical perspective and serves as a strong patient and family satisfier. The patient flow in our ED has been a major focus of our LEAN Six Sigma initiatives.

As usual, I had a great experience and recommended that others in the department try In Your Shoes in other areas to get a different perspective. It has helped me understand our current issues and opportunities and also allowed me to see where other staff could support different departments. In this case, I know I could help transport, get supplies, etc.

I spoke to some of our EMS folks and noticed that they had a new mechanism to reduce any potential injury for their team and their patients. There is a cable and hook that goes onto the back of the patient cart and pulls the patient up the ramp leading to the back of the ambulance - I was told it could pull up to 700lbs.

Having watched too many ED shoes over the years, I walked out to the Ambulance Bay hoping to see other colleagues either playing basketball or meeting their co-workers waiting for multiple ambulances to show - while a couple ambulances were present, we lacked the basketball court. Probably a good thing in this case!

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